This project gallery represents the work of our network of creative activists including media produced by Creative Activist Program members, fiscal sponsees, and Creative Visions Productions. 

Collective for Black Iranians

Collective for Black Iranians

Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda

The Collective is a not-for-profit unincorporated chapter-based association whose mission is to represent Black and 'Afro-Iranians' voices within the Iranian diaspora, educate on the connections between Africanness/Blackness and Iranian identity as well as advocate for Black joy within the Iranian diaspora at large.

"The Collective for Black Iranians was founded out of frustration. The frustration of not belonging here nor there. The frustration of being almost always invisible within a wider community and too often, the frustration of being rejected when eventually seen by that community, simply because of the unfamiliarity and misrepresentation around Blackness."

Through arts, public education and advocacy, the Collective endeavors to change the discourse around Blackness in the Iranian American community and the Iranian diaspora at large.

Utilizing multimedia, awareness raising techniques and outreach, the Collective will refocus the narrative around the connections between Iranian and African cultures mainly through the enslavement of East Africans in the 19th century, via the Persian Gulf slave trade, that contributed to the development of a community dubbed by scholars the 'Afro-Iranian' community.

While data - albeit very small and not always triangulated by a pool of several scholars - exists, the rhetoric around Blackness remains deeply entrenched in racist discourse and exclusionary attitudes. A taboo topic for a long time, the revival of the Black Lives Matter movement in June 2020, has reignited many Black voices within American minorities to speak out against the racist inequalities within their own communities.

The Collective will curate quarterly activities focused on the visual representation of Black and Afro-Iranian voices from the diaspora, the public education of the Iranian diaspora on the connections between Iran, Africa and Blackness, as well as leading advocacy efforts to reimagine a diaspora inclusive of its Black populace.

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